Ever assume that those around you have the same ethical views you do, only to be disappointed and maybe even hurt when they don’t? Yeah. We all have! Here’s the thing that I keep learning: the ethical paths that we adopt are for us, not those around us. They’re just for us! Many times, I have thought or assumed that those around me will (or should) act as I would. It was a recipe for a victim story, and sometimes actual harm.
I don’t think I’m special or more ethical. It seems to me, instead, that life speaks to each of us and we respond in different ways and at different times. At the end of the day, we each get to look in the mirror either and like what we see or find a better way to live. I have no desire to differentiate myself and others by ascribing to a relative value. Expectations and assumptions lead us to do that, so I do my best to avoid it by accepting people exactly as they decide to be. That sometimes means not being around them. Acceptance and forgiveness do not require me to have no boundaries.
I remember someone years ago saying, “You never get cured. You’re not a ham.” As I got older, I’ve liked this quote more and more. It’s not perfection that I’m shooting for. It’s wholeness, which includes accepting and embracing all of my humanness the best I can, and that of everyone around me.